Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Homemade in the Farmhouse Kitchen

I've read many a blog post lately on making home made bread. Here at the old farmhouse, we make several loaves a week. The Artist has even started making a nice herb bread. It's delicious and lends itself for a nice garlic bread. The only difference with us is that we're still using the bread maker. All those recipes making it by hand look easy and delicious but, for now, I have to be choosy. Working full time, commuting several hours a day, and raising the Glimmer Twins mean sometimes I have to be stingy with my time. I'm very happy with the machine we have and in Canada regular flour can be used instead of bread flour, which is cheaper, more flavourful and has a nice texture. It makes a great loaf that, based on my tastebuds, has improved tremendously from the early machines. So by letting the machine do the work, I have time to do other things like making homemade croutons.
 
I love having home made croutons on hand. We enjoy having a simple salad with our meals, and the twins, while already good salad eaters, are always keen to have lots of extra croutons. I got the idea from my brother in law, a first class maitre d'. Through the year's he's picked up many cooking tips from top notch chefs and has become an excellent cook himself. He always keeps some home made croutons on hand and he uses them in what I think is the best Caesar salad. Ever.


I'm sure there are as many ways to make croutons as there are to bake a loaf of bread but I prefer to keep it simple. I cube a loaf of day old bread, drizzle some olive oil on top, add whatever herbs I have on hand, mix well and bake in a 225 degree oven for approx 45 minutes. I usually flip them over or give them a stir half way through. I usually judge by tasting, when they're crispy enough for my liking I know they're done.
I love being self sufficient, even if it's baby steps like this. I'm also loving my recent thrift store finds, like this 50 cent canister made in France. Self reliance can come in many forms. I'm enjoying my independence from grocery and department stores and keeping it as real as possible in the old farmhouse kitchen.



Be well friends,

12 comments:

Mimi said...

I have been on a bread roll (pun intended, lol) lately too and I always use my bread maker to make the dough. Then I put in a pan and bake in the oven. So many recipes, so little time. Just found your site yesterday! Love it!!

maurakeith said...

Hi Andrea! I love making bread. I have a bread machine but haven't used it for while as I really like working with the dough...plus I don't work away from home so I have LOTS of time for it. That's a great idea about making your own croutons and keeping them on hand for when you need them. I just never think about it...until I need them for something and I don't have them! I need to make bread this week so maybe I'll just make some croutons...thanks for the inspiration! Have a great day (Wednesday). Maura

from my front porch... said...

It is awesome keeping it simple, isn't it?
There are so many things we can do that save time and money and we are recycling by shopping in thrift stores.
We have not shopped in a mall or dept store in 4 years. I know we have saved a bundle!

Love your little glass jar for croutons! And, I bet, when you look at it-you just giggle to yourself. Knowing that YOU made what it holds and what you paid for the jar :)

Have a wonderful Thursday :) xo, misha

Deb said...

I use my bread maker all the time too. It doesn't keep you tied down waiting for the dough to rise.

Dandy said...

Oh I love that, and I love croutons but I have not been good at eating salads. If I have croutons as a reward I think I may change that.

Mountain Woman said...

Oh, I'd love to be a guest in your house sampling your bread and croutons. Yummy! I LOVE your canister. I search regularly for objects such as that and when I find them, I'm delighted. What a wonderful kitchen you have.

Cheryl said...

Great post! I must blow the dust off the ol' bread machine, thanks.

Laurie at The Turner Farm said...

It is about finding what works for you and your family. Love that jar! Perfect for croutons.
I'm in the kitchen today playing around with some spent grain from the winery/brewery where I work. It will be time consuming,but I get paid for it. hoping to come up with a bread that can be paired with our wine or ale. The grain is deep, rich, and has an amazing aroma.

Genny said...

I think bread makers are wonderful time savers! I used to make home made bread when my kids were babies, home made soap. It kind of makes me laugh in a way to see folks doing all that stuff again. I like the little luxuries and making soap and bread is a lot of time-consuming work that I'd rather spend doing other things. I can't imagine that making those things really saves that much money. I guess it all depends on what we want to save or spend our time for. I'd rather save mine for eating homemade bread from a bread machine and taking photos or writing or painting or . . . LOL! Your herb bread sounds great!

ain't for city gals said...

I use a bread machine also...I have always liked it but now want to try something a little more advanced in bread variety but you are right...all about having the time. The croutons are a good idea...sometimes I don't use all the home made bread up before it begins to get a bit stale...and as you know there are no preservatives and the next step would be mold...that is really what I like about making your own bread...you know what is in it. Why would we want to put something in our body that can stay 2 weeks in the bread box? That is why I don't buy store bought bread anymore...

Jackie said...

Andrea,

I bake bread pretty often in my bread-maker. I also make dough in it to freeze. I love your jar with the croutons. I haven't made croutons before...going to have to try it now.

Jackie

Elle Bee said...

I love this! You know I do. I love that the glimmer twins like salad and with homemade croutons no less! Good on ya!